New governments are traditionally given 100 days by political commentators in which to prove themselves.Richard Granger, director general of NHS IT, has come to the end of his 'honeymoon'period.And what a tempestuous time it has been.
Mr Granger has not bothered much with wooing his new bride, NHS IT, or its relatives, the suppliers of IT systems. Instead, like Shakespeare's character Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, Mr Granger has set about imposing his will on the household.
This is an approach that can breed a certain respect.Mr Granger has not bothered to flatter suppliers; but they tend to describe him as 'in control'.Nor has he bothered to adopt the Blairite blather that infects government documents and officials; but NHS staff find it bracing to have someone who says what he means.
Mr Granger has a long way to go, however, before NHS IT is lying, Baptista-like, under his foot.And he should not think that moving from straight talking to bullying will do the trick.Even if the NHS could be beaten into installing new systems, it can't be beaten into using them or securing their benefits.
Instead, Mr Granger will need to convince people that the national programme is the right way to go, that it can meet its targets and that it can succeed where previous new brooms have failed. In this respect, he has made an impressive start (even if his creation of a National Programme Office to rule over the relicts of previous grand plans is predictable and slightly depressing).Now for the slog of making a go of things. l